The sorts of Siamese and Burmese artworks that will be shown in our Emerald Cities exhibition seldom have inscriptions or other documentary evidence associated with them. This makes research particularly challenging. When an inscription turns up, it’s exciting.
Our conservator of paintings Shiho Sasaki phoned me this morning to say she had found a previously unnoticed inscription on one of the Siamese paintings she is preparing for display.
The one-and-a-half-line inscription on the back of the painting is very faint and so far hasn’t been read. The few words that can be made out suggest that the inscription records donors’ names and their pious intentions.
Next steps are to ask our photographer to take detailed shots under optimal lighting conditions, and to ask the conservators to try infrared photography, which sometimes reveals what cannot be seen in ordinary light.
Thanks go to Shiho for her careful, sharp looking.
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